Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston Police Chief: "I Do Not Endorse… A Police State Mentality"

What are words worth?

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freedom mentality
Reason 24/7

Boston's top cop, the police commissioner Edward Davis, is testifying today before the House Homeland Security Committee as part of their hearings on the Boston marathon bombings. Davis says he wants more surveillance, but not like a police state.

From the AP:

Boston's police commissioner told lawmakers conducting the first congressional hearing on the Marathon bombings that government should tighten security around celebratory public events and consider using more undercover officers, special police units and technology, including surveillance cameras — but only in ways that don't run afoul of civil liberties. 

"I do not endorse actions that move Boston and our nation into a police state mentality, with surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city," Commissioner Edward Davis said in prepared remarks for the House Homeland Security Committee. "We do not and cannot live in a protective enclosure because of the actions of extremists who seek to disrupt our way of life."

Except when the city is put on "lock down," which appalled civil libertarians but thrilled Boston residents.

Addendum: Boston's deputy police superintendent retweeted a Radley Balko piece on the need to establish "fire lines" in situations like the aftermath of the marathon bombing.

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  1. One man’s responsible vigilance is another man’s police state.

    1. Lawrence O’Donnell:

      Cops?not NRA’s armed citizenry?stopped terrorists in Boston

      MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell ripped apart Wayne LaPierre’s “sleazy exploitive question” at the NRA convention in his Rewrite segment.
      O’Donnell also slammed LaPierre’s concluding remarks on the Boston bombing tragedy. “He uses Boston as a device to get him to his punchline: ‘Good guys with guns stopped terrorists with guns.’ The proverbial NRA good guy with a gun is a citizen with a gun, not a police officer. There is no debate in this country about police officers having guns,” said O’Donnell. “The NRA’s cause, its mission, is about making sure everyone can get any kind of gun and ammunition they want.”

      The facts show “it was not Wayne LaPierre’s armed citizenry that stopped the terrorists in Boston,” O’Donnell said. “It was the Watertown police. All six of them. Plus a Transit officer who got shot.”

      After the cops got done playing Iraq, it was a guy who went outside for a smoke after the lockdown who discovered Durka-Durka (I don’t know how to spell his name), bleeding in his boat. A boat that our valiant public heroes then riddled with bullets and still failed to kill Durka-Durka. Then they just stood around and waited.

      But, don’t let little things like facts get in the way of a good boot-licking.

      1. Errrr…someone should tell Larry the cops didn’t stop the terrorists. Three people died in the bombings.

        1. Yow! I think I’m in love!

          (Don’t get too worked up about it. I’m an old man with a cane.)

      2. Yet another person who needs to be reminded of the Peelian principles of policing.

        Sigh.

  2. Claimed preference: “Boston Police Chief: “I Do Not Endorse? A Police State Mentality””

    Revealed preference: 12-hour lock-down.

    1. And wild panic shooting where they managed to hit a fellow cop and several citizens homes and vehicles, in the pursuit of a wounded, unarmed teenager.

      Heroes, I tell ya.

      1. “We wanted everyone to be safe.”

        “You know, unless they worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts.”

        1. Good thing a couple of Hispanic women weren’t delivering newspapers from a blue truck…

  3. Other than “I don’t like it,” what’s the argument against non-federal surveillance of public spaces?

    1. You’re kidding, right?

      1. No.

        1. So if you are locally abused it is way better than if it is federal?

          Any widespread surveillance will be abused by those in authority to benefit themselves. Sure as sunshine shoots from Obama’s ass, you better not be someone the cops or politicians or power players don’t like or one of your daily legal offenses that currently don’t matter will start to matter very much.

          1. I didn’t say it was better. I asked for arguments against it. I know a pretty good argument against the feds doing it, already.

            Abused how?

            1. Ok. Politician x is running a tight race against challenger y, Politician x is a strong supporter of the local police union who is in charge of monitoring, or able to otherwise have access to that public surveillance system. Politician x is at a fundraiser with the local LEOs and says something to the effect of “will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” Police person z goes out for drinks at the local Gestapo watering hole and has a chat with technicians a, b, and c. Strangely, a little while later challenger y has some politically damaging pictures or video released on the internet. No one knows who did it, but policeman z swears to get to the bottom of this horrible breach of the public trust. News organization g covers the matter, drawing even more attention to challenger y’s footage, and before you know it Politician x is up in the polls, that increase in union pensions is back on track and “new rules” will be in place to stop such a horrible thing from happening again. Sound outlandish? Didn’t think so.

              1. Did Challenger Y actually commit the acts depicted in the video?

                A much more plausible scenario is that the acts of Politician X never see the light of day, much like dashcams “fail” at the weirdest times. Does that mean you think dashcams are illegitimate?

                1. Doesn’t have to be a criminal offense to be damning in a political campaign, dude.

                  Oh, FFS, there’s a difference between monitoring the conduct of police during a stop and monitoring the public for the hell of it.

                  1. I didn’t say it was a criminal offense, dude.

                    So potential for abuse is OK in some circumstances (because you agree with the cameras?) but not in others (because you don’t)?

                    1. Its not the cameras but the people behind them I don’t trust.

                    2. NEM, the situations are different. In the case of the police dashcam there is (hopefully) some probable cause for the monitoring, so unless you are arguing simply going out in public is probible casue there is no actual relation between the two things.

                    3. I’m arguing that risk of misuse isn’t a strong argument when you’re willing to accept the risk of misuse of other cameras.

                    4. ‘Probable cause’ implies a criminal offense. In most states, traffic infractions are civil offenses. You are not protected by the same rights and access to courts.
                      Yet, we still allow police to detain you for a civil infraction (NOT a crime) and use it as a premise for stop and seizure.

    2. I like it. It gives me more targets for my “illegal BB gun.”

      Serious answer:
      14th Amendment, Section 1,
      “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;”

      If it’s no good for the feds…

      1. How does a camera in a public space abridge your privileges or immunities?

        It’s no good for the feds because the Constitution doesn’t say it is good for them. States and municipalities are an entirely different animal.

        1. Primarily the 4th Amendment right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Just as importantly, the penetration of that security is not to be general, but “particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

          Also in Roe v. Wade the SCOTUS recognized an actual — if unenumerated — right to privacy.

          1. You have a right to privacy while in public? That’s… novel.

            1. so if we go out in public, we can be strip searched at will? Or frisked?

              1. A. Strip searched
                B. Frisked
                C. Watched

                One of these is not like the others.

            2. You have a right to privacy while in public? That’s… novel.

              These systems involve tracking all of us rather than a specifically targeted individual. Monitoring cameras with computers taking and storing license plate numbers and facial recognition data 24/7/360? does not qualify for particularly describing places, persons or things.

              Knowing enough about public movements is the same as knowing much of the details of their private lives.

              1. So?

              2. Oops, I dropped the /i in editing. Sorry.

                1. Monitoring cameras with computers taking and storing license plate numbers and facial recognition data 24/7/360? does not qualify for particularly describing places, persons or things.

                  A. I specifically said “non-federal.” B. How is watching a public place a search that involves the 4th Amendment?

        2. Article 2, section 3

          he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,

          Doesn’t say how. I don’t think it is limited by the constitution.

          I don’t like the cameras, but there is no right to privacy in a public place. That would preclude anyone from taking a picture of anyone else without their approval.

          1. That would preclude anyone from taking a picture of anyone else

            The government isn’t just anyone…they should have to demonstrate cause.

            1. Does a cop have to demonstrate cause to watch you in public? Or follow you in public?

              1. Watch: no.
                Follow: yes.

                1. I think you’re quite mistaken.

                  1. I think you’re quite mistaken

                    I’m just using the same argument the Cleveland PD used for failing to find kidnappers and their victims after being alerted several times. So you are arguing that the police are mistaken, or you are arguing the police are infallible.

                    The role of Tulpa is now being played by Night Elf Mohawk.

                    1. You are wrong in saying that the police have to demonstrate cause to follow you.

                      I’m certainly not arguing that the police are infallible. I have no idea how you got such an idea,

              2. A cop could look at your house, so you’d be okay with 360 degree coverage of your home by hd/ir cameras?

                A cop could smell you when you left your property as he passed you on the street, so you’d be okay with passing through electronic chemical sniffers once you step off your property?

                A cop could follow you in your car, so you’d be okay with a gps unit in your car that tracks and records all of your movement on public roads?

                The third happened in reality and was ruled by the supreme court to be unconstitutional. The reason being that, yes a cop may follow you, but a human being isn’t as adept at surveillance and is more expected than a machine.

                1. The majority held the GPS unconstitutional because it was placed on private property, not because GPS tracks better than a human.

                    1. A cop could look at your house, so you’d be okay with 360 degree coverage of your home by hd/ir cameras?

                      I’m NOT okay with it. I just don’t think doing so is unconstitutional. Limits would fall under normal legislation.

                    2. I disagree that someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in public.

                    3. Should have typed it as: The government isn’t just anyone…they should have to demonstrate cause to collect evidence against anyone.

                      So I will agree that one does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public. I do believe that one has a reasonable expectation not to be the subject of investigations by the state without some form of warrant having been executed by someone other than law enforcement. WHich is why the law can always get a warrant to view the video captured by private property owners.

                    4. I do believe that one has a reasonable expectation not to be the subject of investigations by the state without some form of warrant having been executed by someone other than law enforcement.

                      What limit do you believe there is on, say, a cop car following you in public?

                    5. Of course he can follow me…until I notice, object and demand that he provide cause (officer am I being detained?) or stop stalking, er, following me. And if he doesn;t, I can go to court for harrasment or violation of due process. Now, can you see how that might apply to video surveillance by the state?

                    6. Following you isn’t detaining you.

                    7. Following you isn’t detaining you.

                      I never said it was. I used the question as an example of the basis for ascertaining the state’s interest in following me. Do you believe that police are authorized to follow you where ever you go? And, if so, by what authority?

                    8. Then I’m not clear on the relevance of “(officer am I being detained?)”

                      And, if so, by what authority?

                      The state’s police power, as long as they are following you in a public place.

                    9. I disagree that someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in public.

                      For an individual, true. But if the entire public is being monitored for the entire time they are in public, no privacy remains for anyone. The Fourth Amendment would be rendered moot.

                    10. No, it wouldn’t. We’d still be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects same to the extent we are now.

                    11. The D.C. Circuit had an issue with just the sort of continuous video surveillance of public spaces that you’re talking about, NEM. Google “Mosaic theory of privacy” for more examples, though this Conspiracy post has some good discussion of the idea.

                      I think they have a point, given that most of us would have a problem if a policeman followed you everywhere you went on public property, despite the idea that there’s no expectation of privacy there. While there’s no expectation of privacy, there was also the expectation that not everything you did in public was recorded for posterity. Now, it is.

                      Anyway, no one’s mentioned mosaic yet, so I thought it would help the discussion.

                    12. It’s interesting stuff. I think the specific monitoring of a person’s car is quite distinguishable from monitoring public spaces, as such.

                      Still, it looks like those in favor of something like the mosaic approach are trying to encapsulate the creepiness factor into a way to clamp down on surveillance. I don’t especially like the SCOTUS to find stuff like this in the Constitution, though, even if I like the outcome. I probably won’t like the outcome next time.

          2. Of course, the obvious answer is to eliminate public places.

            1. To the state, I’m afraid, the answer is to eliminate the idea of privacy and private property.

              1. The question is not whether an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is an extraconstitutional test concocted by the courts.

                1. How does watching you in a public place mean your aren’t secure in your person, house, papers, and effects?

                  And it’s not extrajudicial. The 4th says you are secure against unreasonable searches. Determining what is reasonable and unreasonable is inherent in apply those words.

                  1. How does watching you in a public place mean your aren’t secure in your person, house, papers, and effects?

                    Well, we know Mr. Mohawk has never been stalked.

                    1. Texas’ stalking law includes:

                      Stalker has the intent or the knowledge that his/her actions will instill fear of death or bodily injury to the victim or a member of the victim’s family or household.

                      Cameras are notorious pacifists.

                      If you think just watching someone instills the fear of death or bodily injury, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

    3. “Waste of money” never crossed your mind?

      1. Isn’t that spelled M-A-L-F-E-A-S-A-N-C-E?

      2. You’re kind of presuming the conclusion, aren’t you?

        “Waste of money” could apply to any number of things cities and states do. How do you make a principled argument to distinguish that “waste” from parks, libraries, traffic signals, etc? If 51% think it isn’t a waste, is there some principle on which that determination should be held invalid?

        1. So your argument boils down to “I like it.”

          1. No. I don’t really have an argument. I don’t like the idea, but I don’t know of a defensible argument against it. It seems to me that in the absence of a state constitutional provision against it, this is one of those times when the majority should get its way, even if it seems suboptimal to me.

            1. You use weasel words like “should” and “suboptimal”. Instead of trolling try thinking.

              1. Epi, instead of calling NEM a troll for simply asking a valid question, you should be spending your time berating Pro Lib for missing a series of references to “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis”.

                1. If you think ProL isn’t going to miss references to one of the funniest Always Sunny episodes, you haven’t been paying attention.

                  Mac: The reason that shit hasn’t been working out for us is because we are not working with our full crew! I’m the brains, (to Dennis) you’re the looks, Charlie’s the wild card, and Frank is the muscle.

                  Charlie: Well, what’s Dee?

                  Mac: She’s the useless chick!

                  1. Always sucking in the past isn’t an excuse for sucking in the present!

              2. How the hell are “should” or “suboptimal” weasel words in this context? I’d rather there not be surveillance of public spaces but I don’t see a principled argument against it.

                Don’t get pissed at me because you don’t have a coherent answer.

                1. “I’d rather there not be surveillance of public spaces but I don’t see a principled argument against it.”

                  Isn’t a camera just another way of seeing something? If something is done in public I don’t see how you can argue that someone else doesn’t have the right to look at it.

                  1. Exactly. It seems like something we could be stuck with unless enough people are creeped out by it.

            2. Why should the majority force economic activity upon the minority?

              Those who want the security can pay for the cost and those who don’t want the security don;t have to pay for it. And if you want to keep a list of who paid that is fine; therefore those who didn’t pay shouldn’t get to take advantage of the system. No different than health care.

              1. Why should the majority force economic activity upon the minority?

                Your argument is with taxation in general, not surveillance in particular. That’s fine, but I don’t see a lot of columns posted here about those fucking librarians stomping a fascist boot on us when another library is built.

                1. I think that you are probably right that there is no legal argument against it. The reason to oppose it is that it is another tool which can help enable a more complete police state. But that argument only has practical value if you can convince voters and legislators that it is a bad idea.

                  1. That’s where I am. I oppose them, but I’m uncomfortable with the willy-nilliness of my position. It seems emotional rather than rational.

                    1. No, not really.

                      The proposition that one does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy while in public is a false premise. First, the question is not whether one has a reasonable expectation of privacy as that is a test concocted by the judiciary. Mind you, there is no authority in either the Declaration of Independence or the federal constitution granted to the clowns in gowns to conceive of balancing tests under the terms of which an individual’s right to be left alone is weighed against some public interest / law enforcement interest / public safety interest.

                      Second, support for the proposition that the state should be entitled to photographic / video data of an individual in the public square is, itself, rooted in an adolescent / emotional / irrational view of life.

                    2. Just because one is in a public place does not thereby render his image and likeness fair game for the state and its totalitarian toadies.

                    3. Mind you, there is no authority in either the Declaration of Independence or the federal constitution granted to the clowns in gowns to conceive of balancing tests under the terms of which an individual’s right to be left alone is weighed against some public interest / law enforcement interest / public safety interest.

                      How does one determine whether a search is reasonable or unreasonable without a balancing test of some kind?

                      Second, support for the proposition that the state should be entitled to photographic / video data of an individual in the public square is, itself, rooted in an adolescent / emotional / irrational view of life.

                      Why is it adolescent, emotional, or irrational?

                    4. If the individual does not consent to the search, then the search is unreasonable. Note that there is no provision in the federal constitution authorizing any governmental entity the power to access photographic and / or video data and use the same against an individual.

                      Remember, the ratifiers were sold a bill of goods by the proponents of the constitution. The proponents asserted that the government could not exercise any power not specifically enumerated. The proponents also insisted that the government could not premise a particular exercise of power because the same was implied within the ambit of an enumerated power.

                    5. If the individual does not consent to the search, then the search is unreasonable.

                      Now it sounds like you’re making up stuff. It would have been easy for the Framers to have written that, but they didn’t.

                      That said, I don’t think it’s very tenable to hold that every time a government official looks at you he is searching you.

                    6. What am I making up?

                      The proponents of the constitution sold the proposed nature of government as one of limited, enumerated powers.

                      It is okay to discard the propaganda fed to us by statists, isn’t it?

                      Keep in mind that the Declaration of Independence is the charter. Anything which offends the charter, is, by nature, ultra vires.

                    7. What am I making up?

                      That lack of consent == unreasonable.

                      It would have been very easy to write “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against nonconsensual searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” but they didn’t.

                    8. Ah, but any ambiguity is to be resolved against the individual and in favor of the state?

                      If there is not an absolute, express grant of power, upon what basis can the same be justified?

                    9. What about the ninth amendment?

                      The ninth amendment’s philosophical underpinning is the natural rights philosophy which dominated the founding era.

                      Thus, one has a natural right to deny the king and his men access to anything about you, including your car, your castle and your kodacs.

                    10. Moreover, where in the constitution is there a grant of power given to the judiciary to determine whether a search is reasonable? Or to concoct balancing tests.

                      The framers and the ratifiers did the balancing. If the individual does not consent, end of story.

                      The adolescent / emotional: Any “argument” rooted in the notion that the state must be the entity that decides whether its actions are reasonable.

                    11. Well, I’ve mentioned several times that I have explicitly excluded the feds from this discussion. Since you are such a fan of the Constitution, I feel certain that you think incorporation is crap and, thus, the 4th doesn’t apply to the states.

                    12. No, I am not a big fan of the constitution.

                      Is incorporation crap? I note that it is only the First Amendment which affirmatively limits its reach to the feds. There is no preamble to the BOR limiting its sweep to the feds.

                    13. In addition, any position premised upon the following notions is rank appeal to emotionalism:

                      (1) an individual does not have a right to partake of and / or distribute drugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

                      (2) the state has to be able to keep track of individuals

                      (3) an individual drug dealer / consumer / “might get away with it”

                      (4) murderous mooslims “might get away with planting bombs”

                      (5) any chicken little / sky will fall non-sense.

        2. The principled argument is simple: If I don’t want to pay for it, it’s a waste.

    4. There really isn’t a great one. It might lead to bad things, but in and of itself it’s just observing a public space which is already allowed.

      1. Wasn’t it mostly private cameras in this case anyway?

        1. In the Marathon Bombing it happened right near the finish line, where there were hundreds of private cameras and cell phones recording. I think they used a surveillance (possibly private) camera for the images they released to the public though.

          1. So there’s no surveillance problem to be addressed with additional taxation then.

  4. Considering how the bomber was found it sounds like Boston needs more husbands going outside to smoke.

    1. Shut up or they’ll penaltax you into doing that.

      1. Nothing new there. I’ve had people (including a former Virginia State judge) call me a tax evader for purposely making considerably less money than I could.

        1. Hell, I’m working on moving to where I can live well without having enough income to be liable for any FIT at all.

          1. Mom’s?

            1. South America.

              1. Might I suggest Chile?

                1. Ecuador.

                  1. Chile was like #7 on the economic freedom list.

                    What’s Ecuador got going for it?

                    1. Low cost of living. Mild climate year round, especially in the Andes. Easy access to the ocean. Relatively easy access to the Galapagos. Relatively ubiquitous broadband in the cities. Decent enough mass transit and cheap cabs such that I won’t need a car. Passable cultural events (symphony, etc.) World class restaurants for about what frickin’ Outback would cost here. Direct flights to Houston.

                2. Chile has skiing, too. And really close to Santiago. I plan to do some antipodal winter sports there in the future.

                  1. The wife and I visited Bariloche (Patagonia) Argentina several years ago. It was awesome. Just like my beloved Montana. The problem was the socialist politics.

                    An American I met while there told me I should try Chile. Said it’s Argentina with capitalism. So that’s kinda my hip pocket plan when things really go to shit here.

                    1. Chile is on the list — ahead of Panama, now — but, right now, there are three or four places in Ecuador I prefer. Another reason is that it uses the dollar so, for better or worse, it takes currency risk off the table.

                      I’m not especially concerned about the politics as I won’t be trying to make a living and I won’t have a lot of resources in country. Snagging citizenship and a passport might come in handy.

                      I’ll check out the stuff I have on Chile again. MT is just too frickin’ wintery, though.

                    2. Oh, and not much threat of severe earthquakes in the Andes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods would be pretty much off the table in the places I am looking except for Cotacachi, which has the volcano thing going on.

                    3. I’ve got a friend in Santiago; they get earthquakes in the entire Andes region often enough.

                    4. Yeah, the winters keep the Californians to a minimum here.

                      My gig is the mountains, hunting, fishing, skiing… and SECLUSION (people suck). I’ll put up with a lot of winter to get the whole package. But, to each his own.

      2. Think of the multipliers! Penaltax you into going out to have a cigarettes and tax you on the cigarettes!

  5. “I do not publically endorse my own actions, nor will I condemn them as I fully intend to act in the same manner the next time I can get an excuse”

    Fixed for accuracy.

  6. “As the shepherd watches over his flock, so do I watch over you. STOP RESISTING.”

    1. The shepherd is also responsible for castrating, shearing and guiding them to slaughter.

      I always found it a poor metaphor for a protector.

      1. But a perfect metaphor for government in general, and law enforcement in particular.

  7. “I do not believe in a Police State but occasionally we have had to suspend the constitution and enact Martial Law. Civilian casualties are inevitable…uh…yeah…and…Boston Strong”

    – Boston Police Chief

  8. “I want to set people on fire, but I think it’s unfair to say that I want anyone to be burned.”

    – Boston Police Chief

  9. Am I the only one encouraged that he was aware enough to lie about wanting a police state? It means that he thinks the people aren’t ready for it yet, which is not the impression I had. At least not of New Englanders.

    1. If you’re conflating Boston suburbanites with average New Englanders, you’re not really doing it correctly. You might want to rethink.

      1. Have you read Live Free or Die by John Ross? About the backbone of the resistance to an alien invasion being New Hampshire maple sappers. Its pretty entertaining for the first four parts and then for some odd reason it reads like the minutes of fifty different meetings concerning the technical specs of a humungaloid spaceship.

        1. If someone tried to invade and hold Vermont they would get fucked up by rednecks.

      2. If you’re conflating Boston suburbanites with average New Englanders, you’re not really doing it correctly. You might want to rethink.

        Exactly.

      3. You really think the average resident of Worcester is more enamored with the concept of total surveillance than the average resident of the Back Bay?

        Generally, the more urban the neighborhood, the more uptight the resident. I might believe that the more rural the neighborhood, the more extreme the resident – so suburbanites will be more extreme in either favoring or opposing a surveillance state than the group-thinking urbanites.

    2. Well “police state” is so gauche, don’t you know. I’m sure the PR team is working on terminology that will be palatable to the socialist public’s remaining classic liberal sensibilities. Think “Boston Strong.”

    3. This is Massachusetts, home of Puritanism. Also known as “conformity” and “groupthink”. Banishing anyone with a different idea is part of their history.

      1. Don’t forget we used to execute Quakers here too… for being threats to the security of the state.

        BOSTON STRONG!!!!!! 😀

  10. My personal rule of thumb concerning surveillance cameras in public spaces, if I don’t expect to be able to jack off in a particular space without creating a ruckus then I don’t have a problem with a camera being there. Corner of a busy intersection, a camera doesn’t bother me, but your teenage daughter’s bedroom window, I’ll fight for the right that it may remain surveillance free.

    1. Dude, if you try to jack off in my daughter’s bedroom, there *will* be a ruckus. 🙂

      1. I only perve after the daughters of unarmed progtards. I’m not stupid.

  11. As a further commentary on how amazing our constitution is, in the Balko piece that the BPD Chief mentions, Balko brings up one of the more depressing things about the failure of civics education in this history.

    But of course there are some rights that can’t be voted away. If tomorrow 86 percent of Boston voted to permanently suspend the Fourth Amendment for the other 14 percent of the city’s residents, few serious people would argue that those poll results are an argument for doing so. (The hypothetical isn’t all that farfetched. A number of polls over the years have shown that the much of the Bill of Rights would lose if put to a popular vote.)

    The Founding Fathers were smert.

    1. *in this country.

      Stupid preview.

    2. Has Balko been reading Tony’s comments?

      1. Huffpo’s staff (minus Balko and a few others) are basically a giant Tony hivemind, and ironically the people Balko was talking about when mentioned those who would vote to suspend parts of the bill of rights.

        (shudders).

        you must never go there simba

  12. few serious people would argue that those poll results are an argument for doing so.

    This childlike credulity amuses me.

    1. By definition, the people that would make such arguments aren’t serious.

      Ooh, I’m up for that demonizing.

  13. As someone that lives in Boston, and went about his business on that Friday, never once being stopped by police, I have to say – you are wrong. Every photo, every story, has come from Cambridge and Watertown. I at least have not seen accounts Boston PD behaving horribly during that. I have to say, I am little shocked and thankful for the way Boston PD responded.

    1. My only first hand experience with the “lockdown” was that I drove through it at 6 AM before I knew it was happening. By the time I returned home from work they were lifting it so that they could actually catch the guy.

  14. Uponr reading all this, my sunny disposition has turned all gloomy again.

    Shit.

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